The phone call you never want to receive. “We need to to come in early to the doctor’s office.” However, it is the phone call thousands of people get everyday. It is to tell them that they have cancer. I hate cancer.
Growing up I did not really know much about cancer. I did not have relatives who had cancer and thankfully I never attend a funeral for someone who died of cancer.
Today, hundreds of my friends will begin to gather to say goodnight to a dear friend of ours who died of cancer. Not only is it unfair that another life has been taken because of this terrible disease, but it is the person that is gone. No longer will we have Pippy in our lives, no longer will we have her enduring spirit, her smile, her laughter, her positive outlook on line.
I don’t think it was an accident that she was the wife of a pastor. She was a deeply spiritual person. When we were 16 years old, we were CITS (counselors in training) together at Camp Calumet. One night while sitting around our campfire she opened up about her life and her faith and it blew me away. Never before in my lifetime did I have a peer so passionately talk about their faith, it blew me away. It was during that summer where my faith grew the most. I became a different person, a better person because of Sarah and the other members of my trainee group.
Three years Sarah battled with stomach cancer and the strength, love and determination she showed during those years was remarkable.
Friday’s are from now on All Star Days.
It was on her first chemo appointment when Sarah’s love for Converse sneakers came to the forefront of so many people’s lives. I knew she loved to wear Converse sneakers since we were 16. She attributes good feelings and hospitals when she wears her Chucks. So a Facebook campaign was started and her Facebook was flooded with people wearing their Chuck Taylor All Stars on Friday’s during her chemo treatments. She said “Within a few weeks, there were over 100 people wearing Converse sneakers for me on the days I had treatment or tests. Now, I think it’s closer to 200 (now it is many, many, many more). These include friends, family, my coworkers, my students, my camp counselor from when I was eight, people from church, and the friends and family of all those listed above. Complete strangers are wearing Chucks for me. People have posted pictures from South Africa, Costa Rica, Australia, Paris, London, Jerusalem, the press room of the White House as well as the State of the Union address, and the Great Wall of China.”
A few weeks ago Converse heard Sarah’s story and made her a custom pair of Converse with her hash tag #sneakersforsarah and the Camp Calumet logo. This was amazing.
Every Friday I will continue to wear my Converse All Stars. Every Friday I will remember my friend who has impacted my life and the lives of so many other people. I will also pray for those who are battling cancer, whose life has changed because of this terrible disease. I will also do everything I can to help fight this disease so we can eliminate it from this world.